The Pink Ones

Below is my submission to a writing contest on belief. It was supposed to be a short story and explanation about your strongest belief. Most of the entrants were about a cause or their religion, but they gave me an opportunity to get creative. So I did.

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I was a fool once. I was just another aimless youth experimenting endlessly with one thing or another. In first grade I was an outcast. Like a small acorn hidden in the shadow of an oak, I wasn’t very good at talking to people. Desperate to fit in, I easily succumbed to peer pressure. I convinced my mom to buy me Gushers to take as snacks to school. All the other kids liked Gushers ergo I should like them. I remember the first time I bit into one of those disgusting, bloated pimples of sugar. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.

I broke my leg skiing once, and the feeling of my shattered tibia was far more preferable than the hideous torment my taste-buds received at the hands of that Gusher.

I was desperate to somehow remove the taste from my mouth. Frantically, I scoured my lunchbox for any remaining food only to find (to my horror) that besides the remaining Gushers, I had nothing left.

Seeing me gag and desperately try to keep down my lunch prompted my friend to hand me one of the few things he had left in his lunchbox: a pink Starburst. I immediately popped it into my mouth and chewed furiously. With each muscled motion of my jaw I began to realize, this little pink chewable had saved my life as I knew it, and if that wasn’t the case, then it was still really tasty.

As I’ve grown old I’ve travelled America, I’ve done all kinds of things and I’ve met all kinds of different people. Some people think red Starburst are the best, some think orange-flavored. Some even think the yellow kind beats out the rest. But they are all wrong.

You see, from that moment back in elementary school I have formed a fanaticism for the pink ones that is rivaled only by the fanaticism of the fully-costumed Trekkies at your average Star Trek convention. Red people, yellow people, orange people, they just don’t understand. They don’t know where I’ve been. I’ve been on the event horizon of sugary disappointment, on the brink of never touching a chewy treat again, but I was pulled back just in time by the greatest candy of them all: The pink ones.

I believe in the power of pink.

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